Our client is a leading automotive technology company with over 70 years of experience in the development and optimization of powertrain systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction, locomotive, aviation, marine, etc. The company employs over 10,000 people and has more than 45 engineering centers across the globe.
The client needed to build a SaaS platform that would standardize and streamline the development of products of different departments and help reduce costs. However, first the company had to validate the product idea, measure its ROI, and mitigate potential risks.
N-iX has helped the client prove SaaS platform feasibility and get everything they needed for a successful kick-off of a large and costly project, such as a working prototype of the platform, a product architecture, a product backlog, and detailed business case calculations.
Starting out with the Discovery Phase helped our partner get a better understanding of their goals, requirements, and the risks involved. A prototype removed ambiguity surrounding the final product in terms of the features to be eventually incorporated and technical decisions. Within the Business Strategy Discovery, we armed our client with critical outputs (value proposition canvas, work-breakdown structure, assessment templates, business case calculations, etc.), and ensured that all stakeholders have the information they need to make a well-grounded decision.
Success story in detail
Our client engaged the N-iX team to be a part of its digital transformation phase as the company has a lot of manual processes, which they have to automate in-house. Another challenge our client faced followed its complex organizational structure, which comprises multiple independent departments. Each of the departments develops a number of standalone solutions for internal use and customer projects, and some of these applications have similar features, but there is no mechanism to reuse applications with similar functionality.
To tackle these two challenges and scale the digital transformation, the client needed to build a SaaS platform that would standardize and streamline the development of digital products of different departments and help reduce costs. However, first, the company needed a clear vision of the solution from the business perspective in order to validate the product idea, measure its ROI, and mitigate potential risks. Also, to ensure the successful delivery of the platform, the company needed consulting and expertise in cloud software development.
To validate the product idea, our client has chosen to digitize the preparation of vehicle benchmarking reports for customers as the current manual process is highly inconvenient and time-consuming.
In order to understand under what circumstances the platform would be profitable for the company, we conducted two Discovery Phases - the main Discovery phase focused on the product and a Business Strategy Discovery focused on its business value.
In terms of the Business Strategy Discovery, N-iX experts prepared a comparative analysis of two scenarios: a case when a department develops a solution with the help of the SaaS platform and the case when it develops a solution on its own. The estimates show how much the company needs to initially invest in platform development and how much money a department can save if they decide to develop its solution on the platform vs developing a solution on its own.
Also, N-iX specialists interviewed several client’s teams to better understand the client’s business needs and the functionality of each solution. Also, we conducted a number of workshops to formulate the product vision and develop the value proposition canvas. Then, we determined what they have in common and came up with several key components.
In terms of the Product Discovery Phase, we prepared a detailed product requirements specification that describes the project, its goals, features, the optimum technology stack, and architecture overview.
As a result of the Discovery Phases, N-iX experts provided a high-level project plan with clear functional requirements, built UX/UI prototypes of the cloud-based SaaS platform and a benchmarking app hosted on it, and estimated the time and money needed to turn the idea into an MVP or a full-fledged product.
Our client received all the necessary deliverables to kick off the implementation phase successfully, including templates to evaluate whether it is more profitable to develop a solution on its SaaS platform or invest in the development of a certain type of service.
Based on the results of the Business Strategy Discovery, the client decided to build the SaaS platform. However, given the turbulent economic times, the company temporarily delayed the project implementation. The benchmarking solution hosted on a SaaS platform integrates all available vehicle benchmarks previously researched by the client and is projected to:
- Reduce man-hours by 1.5 times if the application is hosted on the platform rather than developed on its own, and, therefore, save operating costs in the long run.
- Replace the two-week manual process of preparing the benchmarking reports for customers and enable internal application users to publish new benchmark reports, update pricing, and manage a customer’s access based on subscriptions purchase.
- Provide flexibility for clients (OEMs) to select benchmarks and payment options in their subscription accounts.
By hosting the application on the SaaS platform, we were able to reuse some of the functionality and apply it for a solution for another department of the company.